Monday, July 27, 2009

Time is Flying so Fast These Days -- jcarolek

I spent the first week, the week of required work that took me to the Los Angeles area, bemoaning the fact that the temperatures never rose above 72...from the 4th of July through the 11th. It was too chilly for this east coast native to enjoy the hotel's outdoor swimming pool. I wanted to be able to swim, to relax at the end of the hard, long workday, but I was NOT interested in catching a cold in the process! Nevertheless, I had fun visiting with friends for supper one night and taking in Redondo Beach another.

By the time the temperatures were predicted to warm up, my time in LA was done. My week had been productive, and I had scored a cheap guitar at a local pawn shop, looking forward to the next week -- the week of R&R. With the required work behind me, I was on my way to the lovely land of Yosemite. I fell in love with this place when I visited for the first time last year. And it's cool up in those foothills where my friends live... right? WELL...

The drive from LA to the Yosemite foothills was enjoyable, if long. We took the "scenic" route... In case anyone is wondering, the scenic route turns a 5 hour trip into a 12 hour trip and most of the scenery turns out to be of the cars in front, in back and to both sides... still, we stopped a couple of times and took some photos...and we had a good time.

However, as we drove further from the coast, the temperatures began to rise.

Still, by the time we reached our destination, at about midnight, the weather was cool... When we awoke the next morning, we were embraced by the heat that would keep us inert by day for the remainder of the week.

This trip, the weather was HOT...every day was triple digit temps and we only really came to life as the sun headed over the horizon and the evenings brought the lovely, cooler, tolerable temperatures. And in the evenings we played. Every night, after sharing a meal and lots of entertaining stories of days gone by, we pulled out the instruments and played and sang and laughed.

One day we took a road trip to Sacramento, where we had an "official" jam session with old friends. We played the familiar songs and tried our best at those newer, unfamiliar tunes. We ate good food and had a great fingers were so sore by the time we set out to return to Yosemite, I believed they'd be forever damaged! Over eight straight hours of playing that Torrence pawn shop guitar had taken its toll on my fingers. The ridges from the strings were significant. But worth it.

Before I knew it, the second week was drawing to an end. My friends were leaving for a big family vacation in Oregon...seeking cooler temperatures and new places to explore, and I was returning to Virginia. I was a little sad to leave, but I have to admit, I was more than ready to cool down!

The drive back to LAX was interesting.

By the time we got to Merced, the 104 temps of Yosemite area had increased to 114.

The land was so dry looking, and I wondered how anything really can survive in such conditions. The cattle were resting in the hot sun and wheat colored grasses.

And I imagine most of the people were inside their air conditioned houses, just trying to wait out the afternoon heat....for that stretch of road was pretty empty...

The flight back was the so-called "red-eye" with a three-hour stopover in Chicago. When our plane landed in VA, the greenness of the place really struck me. I had worried about plants in my gardens and on the front porch, having left them for more than two weeks for the first time. I clearly need not have worried. I'd left the dry, parched terrain of California and arrived in the green, green of Virginia humidity...and my plants were thriving.

And for anyone wondering about that tall "tree" behind me .. that's a Poke Weed... it is about 12 feet tall now. We are actually pruning it... for grins...just to see how big it grows!

This first week back was the typical work week for me. Catching up on eBay shipments, catching up on work that always piles up when I take vacation, catching up on the yard work...and taking a couple of hours to fish at the pond...just because.

And tonight, as I sat down after tilling and playing with plants, it struck me... July is almost gone. The time is flying so fast these days. August is already knocking on the door...So fast.

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